Understanding Racism, History & Memoirs
Online Resources

  • Strategies to End Structural Racism
    By John a. Powell and Stephen Menendian | March 26, 2021
  • Anti-Racism Is Becoming Troublingly Racist
  • Sacred Ground Episcopal Church
    is a film- and readings-based dialogue series on race, grounded in faith. Small groups are invited to walk through chapters of America’s history of race and racism while weaving in threads of family story, economic class, and political and regional identity.

    The 10-part series is built around a powerful online curriculum of documentary films and readings that focus on Indigenous, Black, Latino, and Asian/Pacific American histories as they intersect with European American histories.
    Sacred Ground is part of Becoming Beloved Community, The Episcopal Church’s long-term commitment to racial healing, reconciliation, and justice in our personal lives, our ministries, and our society. This series is open to all and especially designed to help white people talk with other white people. Participants are invited to peel away the layers that have contributed to the challenges and divides of the present day – all while grounded in our call to faith, hope, and love.
  • The Union of Black Episcopalians stands in the continuing tradition of more than 200 years of Black leadership in the Episcopal Church. It is a confederation of more than 55 chapters and interest groups throughout the continental United States and the Caribbean. The Union also has members in Canada, Africa and Latin America.
  • “Who Gets to be Afraid in America? By Ibram X. Kendi in the Atlantic, May 12, 2020.
  • “1619 Project” in the New York Times
  •  “How Studying Privilege Systems Can Strengthen Compassion” by Peggy McIntosh at TED Talk; Nov 5, 2012.
  •  “The urgency of intersectionality” by Kimberlé Crenshaw; October 2016
  •  “How to deconstruct racism, one headline at a time” by Baratunde Thurston, TED Talk; Jun 26, 2019.
  • “The future of race in America” by Michelle Alexander at TEDxColumbus; Oct 16, 2013,
  • Here is a list that is beyond the NYTImes bestseller list. “ The Gazette asked Harvard faculty members to discuss the books they recommend for those who want to learn more about the issues and to expand their understanding of systemic racism, white privilege, and the long legacies of slavery and white supremacy in American history.”

Reflections on Talking to Kids about Racism
By Anice Schervish Chenault
Parents – I talked to my six-year-old last night about what was happening in Louisville and Minneapolis, about systemic racism and police brutality, about Breonna and George… it built upon conversations that we’ve been having for years. Have you talked to your kids? If not, why not? Black parents MUST talk to their kids about this – to save their lives. It’s a privilege that makes it an option for white kids. Please choose that #blacklivesmatter

Here’s a place to start – Something Happened in Our Town focuses on a white family and a black family responding to their kids about a situation of police murder similar to the ones to which we are responding now.  It does a great job starting the conversation about race, then racism, then systemic racism, and ending with what the kids can do in their own sphere to make a change.

There is SO MUCH out there if you just start searching… but in an effort to keep this manageable, I’m offering just a few quick resources on starting conversations with your kids about what’s going on.  Remember, this is not a one-and-done conversation… it’s many little conversations, questions that will come from your kids at seemingly random times – they’ve been mulling it over, seeing how new information integrates with all the other messages they have from their friends, school, and media… then, in a safe moment, they will come out with it.  It’s hard when they catch us off guard – asking why white people enslaved black people while you’re trying to put away the groceries… but those are the moments we live for – they’re open, at least for a moment, to the conversation.  Be ready.  And remember, if you don’t do it the way you’d like, you can do it again. 

When’s too soon?  Never.  Kids start to recognize race at 6 months and by 9, racial attitudes tend to stay constant unless the child experiences a life-changing event.  Here are some more resources to get you started.  

Stages in Children’s Development of Racial and Cultural Identity & Attitudes –
Here’s a great quick series – 

Another resource for our particular moment – 

Ted Talks


Just Mercy, Released 2019

Harriet, Released 2019

I Am Not Your Negro, [Documentary]  Released 2017

Whose Streets, [Documentary] Released 2017

13th, [Documentary] Released 2016

Selma, Released 2014

12 years a Slave, Released 2013

Malcolm X, Released 1992

Books Non-Fiction

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, by Michelle Alexander; 2010

I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness, by Austin Channing Brown; May 15, 2018

Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates; July 14, 2015

Women, Race, & Class, by Angela Y. Davis; February 12, 1983

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, by Robin DiAngelo; June 26, 2018

How to be an AntiRacist, by Ibram X. Kendi; August 13, 2019

Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America. Melissa Harris-Perry.

Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment Is Killing America’s Heartland, by Jonathan M. Metzi; May 12, 2020

The Alchemy of Race and Rights, by Patricia J. Williams; 1991

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson



Episcopalians and Race: Civil War to Civil Rights (Religion in the South) by Jr. Shattuck, Gardiner H.; 2000

The Cross and the Lynching Tree, by James Cone; September 1, 2011

Enfleshing Freedom: Body, Race, and Being, Second Edition,
M. Shawn Copeland; 2020

Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God, by Kelly Douglas Brown; 2015

Womanist Sass and Talk Back: Social (In)Justice, Intersectionality, and Biblical Interpretation, by Mitzi J. Smith; 2018

Dear Church: A Love Letter from a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the US, by Lenny Duncan; 2019

Womanist Theological Ethics: A Reader, edited by Katie Geneva Cannon, Emilie M. Townes, Angela D. Sims; 2011

The Anti-Racist Starter Pack:
40 TV Series, Documentaries, Movies, TED Talks, and Books to Add to Your List

Local, Black Led-Organizations